International coalition thwarts rocket attacks in Syria

The US-led coalition fighting ISIS in Syria said on Tuesday it thwarted an attack in the northeastern region of Deir Ezzor, the day after the second anniversary of the murder of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

After spotting “several indirect fire rocket launch sites that posed an imminent threat,” coalition forces “carried out strikes to eliminate the threat,” a coalition official said in a statement.

The rockets targeted a US base called “Green Village” in the Euphrates Valley where ISIS fighters are still active and where US forces continue to cooperate alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

“Indirect fire poses a serious threat to innocent civilians due to their lack of discrimination” and the coalition “reserves the right to defend itself,” the official added.

Asked who could be behind the attack, the third in less than 48 hours in the region after others targeting the Ain Al-Assad air base on Tuesday in western Iraq and the Baghdad international airport On Monday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said he could not identify them.

“I am not in a position now to enter into a specific attribution,” he said. “That said, we continue to see threats against our forces in Iraq and Syria from Iranian-backed militias.”

None of the attacks claimed any lives, but came as Iraq marked the second anniversary of the US assassination of Soleimani, the architect of Iran’s Middle East strategy, and his Iraqi lieutenant, killed by drone fire in Iraq on January 3, 2020.

Some 900 US troops remain deployed in northeastern Syria and at the Al-Tanf base in the south, bordering Iraq and Jordan.

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